Brett Gardner: What To Do For Fantasy Baseball Keeper Leagues?

New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner was not supposed to be out that long when he got hurt on April 17. He suffered a bone bruise diving for a ball that day, and was supposed to only be out of the game where he got hurt in. Then he was supposed to miss one game. It’s been over three months now, and he has yet to play another game for the Yankees.

Gardner still out
Three times Gardner was supposed to come back from his elbow injury, and three times he was shut down. Now over half the season is over, and Garner is not back. He is still feeling pain in his elbow, and nobody seemed to know why, despite two MRIs and an examination by legendary physician Dr. James Andrews. Every time he seemed to be ready to come back, Gardner felt pain again. This has meant that he keeps on getting shut down. Recently, the Yankees had him stop playing after a simulated game. Finally Gardner was shut down, and will miss the rest of the 2012 due to getting elbow surgery.
When healthy, Gardner is a run-scoring and a base-stealing threat – in 2011, he led the American League in steals in 49.  Unfortunately, in 2012 he has not been healthy – he has played in just nine games in the season. Not that the Yanks have really missed him – Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones have filled in ably in his absence, and with the acquisition of Ichiro Suzuki, the Yanks have a top-of-the-order base stealing threat the way Gardner has been for the Yanks.
What to do now
So what do you do if you had been hanging on to Gardner for your fantasy baseball team? Well, you probably should have dropped him a while ago – while he does steal a lot of bases, there are plenty of other outfielders who have better hitting and power numbers.  He is a good player, but he is not a player you would want to hang on in your fantasy baseball disabled list.  If you did hang on to Gardner, hoping he would be back, such as if you are a Yankee fan who admires him, obviously it is time to give up on him for this season.
You also may want to think about ditching him for good if you have him in a keeper league. While Gardner is a dynamic player, he is not really worthy of a keeper league, between his numbers, and his propensity to get injured.
Lisa Swan writes for a variety of sports sites, including